The College of Hereditary Nobility of Hungary

Bukovina | Moldova


Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains. It is currently split between Romania and Ukraine.

When the Dacian Kingdom of Decebal, which included the territories just on the other side of the Carpathian Mountains from what is today Bukovina, fell to the Romans in 106, the area came under a linguistic and cultural influence of the Roman Empire.

In the 3rd century (240s-270s), the region was plundered by the Goths, in the 4th century by the Huns (370s-380s), and in the 6th century (560s-570s) by the Avars.

Beginning with the 6th century, Slavic populations entered the region and influenced the language and agricultural methods (e.g. burning the forests to increase the cultivated land) of the locals.

In 797 the Avars, who settled in today's Hungary and collected regular tribute from the peasants' all over south-eastern Europe, were defeated by Charlemagne.

According to medieval Kievan sources, until the 10th century the territory had been part of White Croatia and later under the Kievan Rus', and in 12th to early 14th century, Principality of Halych-Volhynia, included parts of the region.

The villages of the Campulung Valley formed a "Republic" that preserved its autonomy even under the Principality of Moldavia, which acquired independence in 1359.

The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became Austrian Empire in 1804, and Austria-Hungary in 1867.

During the Middle Ages, the region was the northwestern third of "Tara de Sus" (Upper Country in Romanian), part of the Moldavian Principality, as opposed to "Tara de Jos" (Lower Country). The region has become the cradle of the Moldavian Principality, and remained its political center until 1564, when its capital was moved from Suceava to Iasi.

Nowadays, in Ukraine the name is unofficial, but is common when referring to the Chernivtsi Oblast as over 2/3 of the oblast is the northern part of Bukovina. In Romania the term Northern Bucovina is sometimes synonymous with the entire Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine, and (Southern) Bucovina to Suceava County of Romania (although 10% of the present-day Suceava County covers territory outside of the historical Bukovina.)

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